Hi, I’m David Brooks, and you’ll be happy to know that I’ve read another book, or at least the introduction. That’s all it takes to send my intense cognitive powers off into immense caverns of thought. Today, I have a simple message, so you might be able to grasp the gist of it. You see, it’s pretty clear that capitalism isn’t working the way it ought to. I know, I know, that’s a pretty mind-blowing point. I mean, capitalism is a beautiful thing, like a flawless diamond, or one of my columns. But some in the know have noticed a couple of very minor abrasions on the beautiful skin of that hot economic model. Do not fret, however, for I have a brilliant band-aid.
You see, If you break things down, there are really only two types of people in the world (well, three, if you include me, but that’s unfair to just about everyone, so we’ll keep it to two): those who use information to make money, and those who are just fascinated with how things work. It’s clear that the two never get confused, and it’s even clearer that when people who are only after money are in charge things can get a teensy, weensy bit messy. Never mind that there are strong arguments that the whole point of capitalism is the profit motive and that it is a dangerous thing—I didn’t read those arguments, so they’re clearly unimportant.
But let me get to my real point. Foolish people would take my deep insight and suggest that we ought to criticize capitalists. But that would be silly. The only way to change a capitalist is to love him. Really, don’t argue against that big rich person: give him a hug! When he feels your love, his greed will magically recede into the bliss of your embrace. And while you’re clinging to one another in a wealth of happiness, you’ll both begin to understand that the answer can’t be government regulation. That never works. Sure, a couple of people might think it does, but I haven’t read them either, so whatever.
No, what the market needs is obvious: the market! As long as there are people who love knowledge, the market will be changed by itself and work. It’s win-win, and it’s moral. Everybody knows that people who do things for the love of knowledge have a deep moral ecology, one that prevents them from the sort of terrible drug use that the little people struggle under, and their outcomes are also always ethical. That’s just obvious, if you at least try and think about it. And the really good news is that those lovers of knowledge will also probably become richer than the people who love only money. So, what’s the take-away here? Let me help you with that one, too: good, moral people love knowledge, and you can tell because they’re richer than most of the people on Wall Street. Just look at me. Sure, if you’re poor, you’re probably not a good person and you don’t know how to love. But don’t worry: the markets will soon fix themselves and make life better for everyone, even you.
So, if you seek real knowledge, you can attempt an even deeper version of this diamond of an argument here. Trust me: you’ll be a better person for it.